Someone’s voicemail message just blessed me.
I am very wierded out by this. If I was, you know, a real nun making real, nunly type phone calls, I probably wouldn’t be wierded out by it. But I was calling a vendor to ensure that an order had been placed.
In my world, y’see, people don’t just randomly say “God bless you”, unless you sneeze. Actually, even I say “Gestheundheit”, but I’m part German (I think the actual part of me that’s German are my knuckles, but that’s not the point).
The question this blessing voicemail brings to my mind is, “Which God? Do I want your God blessing me? What if your God leaves sticky fingerprints all over my soul? Ew, yucky!”
See, this is why I’m not a theologian. All my thought processes come down to Windex and Pine-Sol.
One of my buddies at church is the kind of person who will randomly drop in the middle of a conversation, “Dude, I LOVE Jesus!” I’ve learned to love Church!Buddy’s little exclamations, because they are just a symptom of a deep, passionate faith.
It’s hysterical, though, watching Church!Buddy do this in the middle of a conversation involving a group of middle class semi-secularists, the kind who show up on Sundays and go to the Silent Auction, but aren’t interested in Bible Studies or committee meetings. The entire conversation falters for a second, because they’re not really sure how to respond to that.
‘Course, the first couple of times Church!Buddy pulled that on me, I was utterly confounded, too. Sometimes my faith can be passionate, and it’s got some deep places, but I don’t go around telling people about it! Then people would people will know I’m a Christian!
I think I know a little about how Jeremiah and Ezekiel felt, though. They got personal visits from God to give them words to say. And their words were a heckuvalot more immediately dangerous than “Christ is risen, Alleluia!”, they were sent to tell happy, middle-class semi-secularists that their world would be crashing down around their ears.
The message of “Christ is Risen!”, though, is just as dangerous to the stability of our society as Jeremiah’s prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem. For all our leaders bluster on, this is not a Christian nation, it’s been built by exploiting and oppressing people of all races, genders, creeds, orientations, nations of residency, and credit scores. As I heard preached recently,
If you read your Bible, you can see clearly on whose side God has always played; here’s a hint: it’s not the wealthy and the powerful.
So, where does the voicemail message fit into all of this? Is it a misguided attempt to align oneself with the ruling powers pretending to speak in the Name of Jesus? Is it a conviction against my soul, to get me to speak louder about my own faith, to preach the Good News of a risen Christ who can forgive sins? Is it a sincere prayer on behalf of the messagemaker, which I should accept with gratitude?
Could it be all of these things, plus the fact that it’s a long, slow Friday at work and I’m on the phone right now with a company that has the Indiana Jones Theme as their hold music?